“It’s Like We’re Always in a Prison” – Abuses Against Boys Accused of National Security Offenses in Somalia

by Laetitia Bader, Abdullahi Abdi, Maria Burnett et al.
Human Rights Watch, 2018

95 pp. 889 kB

Somalia’s government is detaining and torturing children linked to the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab, according to this Human Rights Watch report. Since 2015, hundreds of boys have been pressured into service for Al-Shabab, then detained illegally by Somali authorities, the UN reports. Flouting international human rights law, the Somali government has failed to consistently uphold its pledge to turn over captured children to UNICEF for rehabilitation. Instead, some children have been detained, interrogated, and cut off from relatives. Some have been beaten and tortured. “The government’s haphazard and at times outright abusive approach harms children and compounds fear and mistrust of security forces,” said Laetitia Bader, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch and author of the report.

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